This week I received the following question from http://foodpicker.org :

I am very new to the diabetes lifestyle.  I have started working out and so far have dropped 8 pounds (I have about 100 pounds still to lose).  I am excited about the weight loss so far, but I am scared that I won’t drop the weight and that I will slip somehow.  Can you offer any advice in regards to cravings (I have a big sweet tooth and enjoy greasy foods such as burgers and fries)?

Great job! You should give yourself a big pat on the back for what you have accomplished so far. Losing excess weight will tremendously benefit your health in the short and long term.

Cravings can be annoying when trying to lose or maintain your weight, but consider several factors first before turning to the fatty foods and sweets. Are you getting 3 balanced meals daily, with the right amount of carbohydrates, fat, and protein? Skipping meals, or not eating enough at meals can understandably set you up for the munchies later.  If you eat smaller meals, do you make time to prepare healthy snacks?  Check out this link: http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/15-diabeticfriendly-snacks-tips/article98255.html for a few snack ideas. When you get enough to eat of the good stuff, you’re less likely to want to reach for the bad stuff.

Sometimes you may still just really want something sweet. Fruit is a great way to fulfill a sugar craving– see my last post for more details on fruit and diabetes. Again, avoid eating fruit by itself to prevent a drastic spike in blood sugar, and pair it with a protein, such as peanut butter or cheese. I also believe that it is alright to treat yourself occasionally, just make room for your dessert in your daily carbohydrate allowance, and enjoy it with a meal.

It is important to remember that we are all human, and sometimes we “slip up” or “fall off the wagon” with our new diet and lifestyle. It’s okay, don’t beat yourself up! You can always get back on track. Just recognize what triggered the habit change ( such as maybe stress or having a hectic schedule) and think how you could handle the situation better the next time around. We have all experienced this at one point or another, noone is perfect.

Keep up the great work, and keep in mind that your choice to take control of your health through proper nutrition and an active lifestyle sets a great example for others, including friends or members of your family.  This is the way we should all be eating and living, diabetes or not!